Ryan Giggs: Wales boss aims to strike balance with club managers in busier than usual season

Wales boss Ryan Giggs admits club and international managers are bound to upset each other during a congested fixture list like no other.

The new Premier League campaign – which starts on September 12 – will be five weeks shorter than a standard season after the late end to 2019-20 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The need to cram the fixtures in has seen the planned winter break scrapped, and Giggs knows player welfare will be a huge issue heading into next summer’s delayed European Championships.

“I’m sure I will do things that will upset the club managers and vice-versa but that comes with the territory,” Giggs said.

“You try and just negate that as much as you can. The young managers, Mikel (Arteta), Frank Lampard, I played against or I know from being on coaching courses with them.

“Others I don’t know so much, but we have good communication with the clubs and make sure we look after the players as much as we can.

“If there’s any risk we have to take careful consideration in terms of how many games the players have played and what’s their injury record.

“It’s not something we will get right all the time, sometimes there is a calculated gamble in there.

“We definitely do our best to look after the players’ welfare, we want players fit for the summer and we don’t take any chances that players are going to get injuries.

“But my job is to make sure Wales win games, so it’s always a bit of a balance.”

Wales return to action this week for the first time since qualifying for Euro 2020 last November.

Their Nations League campaign starts with a visit to Finland on Thursday before Bulgaria come to Cardiff three days later.

The Republic of Ireland complete the League B, Group Four section and Gareth Bale is expected to lead Wales despite falling out of favour with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

“I understand the point that players could potentially go into the Euros fresh,” Giggs said. “Players want that bulk and volume of games so they feel good and strong.

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